Dec 3 2014

IGCSE Creative Writing Coursework

A walk through the mind of sir Esteban Winsmoore.By Louie Jacques Kalvis (italics mean thoughts, they are in present tense for they are unspoken dialogue)



The deal was sealed and our old friend the psychiatrist Dr Johnson, whose efforts have been required before, would be needed once again. Johnson with Sir Esteban Winsmoore’s consent, drank the elixir, which he knew he would need to do, to truly understand the other. The decanting process had worked and within seconds. Johnson fell into a sleep which would last a lifetime.

It felt like falling, but no distance had been fallen, as if Dr Johnson had awakened to a hypnagogic jerk. He found himself in the ruins of a Greek structure by the sea. Far below him, standing on a pyre, was a grey-suited man who was of slender stature and appeared to be forty years of age. “So you have arrived on time, true to your reputation. I must digress, you need to understand each room or place, including this one, and what it represents in feelings to achieve your goal of understanding. I just need to follow your lead and my employers will be satisfied with the reports I make. Call me Swīn.”


The man was far off yet Dr Johnson heard him as if he was standing adjacent to him. The water flowed and broke on the rocks below, but this was not sea water, tears. “A sea which mourns,” said Swīn, “do you see it?” Johnson replied “Yes, the sea is forming faces.” He watched the faces shatter on the rocks. Woe.


Dr Johnson found himself in an inn. His immediate observation worried him, where is he? Swīn could not be found and for the first time he was properly engaged and involved with his environment. Faces of confused Norsemen stared straight at him. “What is the meaning of this, who are you?” Johnson was severely distraught by the huge man who stood like a barbican looming over him. “Good people I am Samwell Johnson and I mean to cause no trouble, could one of you tell me where and when we are?”

“This place is the hold of Skyörg and the year is Aböræng.” Then a flood of answers came rushing through from the various pagan religions “Gorgocia” then “Invilla”, the naming was disrupted by the furious innkeeper. “Its the tenth year of High Chief Tormänn’s reign,  now come up stairs before I knock your head in.”


The upstairs was dingy. A bed and chest were the only furniture there. The innkeeper opened the chest and said “Change into these furs before someone starts calling you a demon, and then leave.” Reluctantly Dr Johnson changed out of his attire and donned the furs. If the royal society gazed upon me now, I would look more like a barbarous jackal than my reputation would have them believe. He then proceeded to leave, unmolested. He saw where he was for the first time, the central hold of Skyörg, which was built with wood and thatch roofs. There were only two buildings of decent size, the rest were hovels. The main structures were the inn and the keep, which was atop a hill in the centre of the hold. The keep was run down in parts, including its only tower which had fallen, but it was extremely well defended with stake pits, archer positions on crenellated roofs and murder holes covering the gate.


Dr Johnson headed for the keep so as to find High Chief Tormänn and get further information to understand what this place might represent. “So you were the one who caused the problems over there,” a man said as he was on his way “You look almost normal here but you don’t fit well enough.” Johnson was short of useful words to say: “I am Samwell and who are you?” There was a long pause before the man replied “I am Thēof Bana, perhaps you have heard of my exploits. Visiting the chief?” Johnson replied “As you say, but I must depart with due celerity, I must be hasteful.” he continued to his destination. Bana joined him uninvited.

Bana hailed the guard and he and Dr Johnson entered the great hall. There were only four people in the hall excluding themselves: Hȳdan the spy master, Sven the steward, Gefeoht the marshal and High Chief Tormänn. The marshal was close to sixty years of age. The chief was forty but looked beyond his years for he carried the burden of leadership, not as a shepherd to his flock but as father to son, for he was kind, which was his greatest flaw.

Dr Johnson walked to the seat which symbolised Tormänn’s rule, where his advisors stood around. He looked toward Dr Johnson: “Why are you here in my hold, why have you caused trouble these moments past? My clansmen would gladly kill me for my position. Now any trouble you cause will result in me having to appease them. These small problems build up and the more that come, the more usurpers there are. You have obviously come here for a reason: state your business and begon!” Johnson felt sympathy but not exactly empathy for him. “All I wish to know is where I am, where I really am, where Swīn is.” The chief replied: “Where you are? Look around you, you’re not dreaming. Isn’t it obvious?”


Dec 3 2014

IGCSE Response Piece – Ice Bucket Challenge

Ice bucket challenge: who’s pouring cold water on the idea (by Steven Rose)?

In this response piece I shall explore the ethics of the Ice Bucket Challenge. The ice bucket challenge claims to be a challenge, which it is not by definition; a call to participate in an event which proves or displays ones strength and/or ability. There is no ability being displayed by having a bucket of water and ice poured over you, some challengers do not even consent to it happening to them (Jeremy Clarkson), this therefore removes the aspect of an endurance test.

A.L.S.A (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis association) said that they had raised over eighty million dollars; and according to their challenge, you must donate one hundred dollars should you fail to complete the challenge within twenty four hours. If my mathematics are correct, that should mean that eight hundred thousand buckets of fresh water have been needlessly poured over peoples heads.”Drought-stricken residents of Henan and California don’t see the funny side of sloshing tubs of water around” (Steven Rose) The author of the article is being flippant to get his point across. I do believe that those who have completed this challenge outweighs the factor of those who have donated on their own accord.

The water wastage caused by this challenge is horrendous. By raising awareness and raising money for one charity,  others in need (those without access to clean water) are insulted by this. The buckets of water wasted could have helped more than the amount affected by als. “6 to 8 million people die annually from the consequences of disasters and water-related diseases.” (U.N water)

Charitable activities is also a problem which most charities are apart of. This means that the money that you donate to a charity does not necessarily go to those that you thought were receiving it. This may go into doctors pay checks, advertisement, and honest things like haulage. The money that goes into advertising campaign on television can go up to one hundred thousand pounds a season (approximately).

“companies dousing their staff en masse in hundreds of gallons of icy water, come across more as wasteful PR exercises” (Steven Rose). This is a very important point which is has not been fully addressed. Some firms and groups use the charity as a front for advertisement and renown among the social networking community. Celebrities could also have been involved in this, using it as another opportunity to step into the limelight, rather than out of good nature.

“More practical is India’s Rice Bucket Challenge”, this refers to giving rice to those in need, rather than pouring fresh water over yourself. I believe that this is the most ethically correct reproach to the ice bucket challenge. This once again highlights wastage and finds and alternative.

What I have just displayed is the reasons the ALS ice bucket challenge is wrong (should not be done). I do not disagree that it has helped people, but I think I have shown that the benefits are outweighed by the costs (or problems/dilemmas). By Louīe Kalvis.


Dec 3 2014

IGCSE Response Piece – There’s Nowt Wrong with Slang

Analysis of anti slang by Louie Jacques Kalvis

Isabelle Kerr wrote an article about the new generations’ use of slang, in august last year (2013). Ms.Kerr questions, or rather rants, why slang words “have been elevated to a level of permanence and authority” She also states that the future of the English language looks bleak (but who is she to judge the direction the English language is going in, she foolishly has the audacity to thinks that she is of such significance and mettle that she may judge thousand on the way they speak, as if she is a goddess among the pitiful), and she also said that she is apart of the generation (as she is in her 20s) using these slang terms that she is both ashamed and apologetic on others behalf, as if she can decide what is right and wrong, and thinks that her apology actually means something.

Isabelle Kerr said, “the new additions are mostly related to image, reputation and sex” yet she later said  “Shakespeare will be turning in his grave.” I would like to remind the jackanapes Kerr that the language of shakespeare’s time, was as much related to image and reputation as the slang used today, and nearly as much of it as ours to what Shakespeare would euphemistically (and neologically) call “country matters”. She acts as if this is something new, invented by the rebellious fools who are the youth, and should not let English evolve as a language. She has a problem with The Oxford Dictionary Online, stating that Dictionary Bods should not add these “preposterous” words to the English language. The only party involved with the moot who needs “a reality check” is her own. The Oxford Dictionary groups purpose is to record the development of the English language. It may be thought legitimate if Kerr was to complain about the speakers of such informal words, rather than those who record the words and usage, and yet how can she complain to the speaker, for it is they who define the English language itself. Above all of these points though, she said “shakespeare will be turning in his grave”, but was it not he who was famous for his use of slang.

Isabelle Kerr has a problem with the words being used themselves. The appellation “twerk”, may not seem necessary but actions have names and that was one without one, she also has problems with the dysphemisms such as “sick” yet she cannot see that as an alternative expression of your environment. And yet despite all her problems with these language devices, and mentioning that different terms are not real words, she still went on to use the proprietary eponym in a manner of seriousness, “googled.”

The article by Isabelle Kerr claims that twerking and selfies “Just like any fashion trend, come and go” however I disagree with the statement, as there are still examples like “cool” which have not been forgotten about as she had said, if technology with photography does not develop greatly, “selfie” might stay for many years. One thing which really draws me as a reader to dislike this article is the constant use of japes when discussing serious issues, their purpose is to display and mock slang, however slang when said and slang in writing are far different. Unless it was a joke or someone who I had no professionalism associated with, i might use slang in a text or say it to them and it would be fine, but in a letter, report or email it would be completely unacceptable. The point which Kerr has missed is that written and spoken language are different. I personally write far better than I speak, and the same applies to my colleges.

What would Kerr like for the youth of today (which she claims to be apart of) call a ‘selfie’ in its stead? would you rather call such an act a self portrait? you wouldn’t use it in the same way a pub is a public house, yet you do not hear many refer it to that.

To conclude, the imbecile who is, Ms. Kerr lacks validity to her arguments in the moot of whether slang should be used and brings her own negative view towards the generation using it and the OED (who are not responsible for the problem at hand). She has contradicted herself multiple times and has had the false thought that her opinion overpowers that of the masses.